Everyone has a birthplace, and everyone should have his or her own home. This message can be seen in the lines of Edward Said in his essay, States. It is safe to say that place, or environment, shapes a person’s culture, behavior, and lifestyle. Moreover, place shapes others’ initial perception about a person to the same extent that an individual represents his homeland. Many Palestinians have lost their native land, but they remain Palestinians to others and themselves (Bartholomae et al., 2020). They have become involuntary prisoners of their own identity; other communities alienate them, but they cannot reject their identity because this means losing their own culture and themselves.
Significance of Edward Said’s States
Edward Said’s works and thoughts remain relevant to this day. In the twenty-first century, globalization has accelerated dramatically, many cultures are starting to mix, and others are beginning to clash. Moreover, minority cultures are finally regaining their independence. States provide an important insight into how important identity is to its hosts, especially minorities, and what it means to lose an essential cultural element. It is also worth noting that he touches on hot topics such as migration and cultural assimilation.
Philosophy of Identity from a Minority Perspective
Both Edward Said and James Baldwin have a lot on the topic of identity in their works. Said argues that identity is shaped by place, culture, and others’ perceptions (Bartholomae et al., 2020). In contrast, Baldwin believed that identity is created by the collision of two cultures when a person analyzes another inner self. One can say that Baldwin’s concept of identity continues Edward Said’s ideas even though Baldwin’s works are older than Edward’s ones.
Bartholomae, D., Petrosky, A., & Waite, S. (2020). Ways of reading: An anthology for writers (12th ed.). Bedford/St. Martin’s.